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September Tech Support

Where We Cure All Your Tech Problems

Sep 10, 2007
130_0709_01_z+tech_support+model Photo 1/5   |   September Tech Support

Life is hard. The boss yells at you, homework is neverending, and parents just don't understand. Plus, your girlfriend is tired of riding in your played-out hoopty. Well, here at Super Street, we can help. Want to pimp-out your G35? We're on it. Trying to run 12's in your '87 Accord? Help is on the way. Got a weird rash on your butt? For God's sake, see a doctor! (even we have our limits). So, pick up a wrench and get to work. When that seemingly unsolvable problem rears its ugly head, pick up a crayon, scribble it down, and snail mail it to: Super Street magazine, c/o Technical Support, 6420 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048. Or step into the 21st century and send us one of those emails at tech@superstreetonline.com. Include your name and location (it really is important), preferably in English as our bootleg Klingon translator program crashed on us. As always, fabulous prizes go to the Technical Support Inquiry of the Month. This time, Ed from the mysterious realm known as the Internet is our lucky winner. He receives a wonderful set of hood dampers from PasswordJDM (www.passwordjdm.com).

130_0709_02_z+tech_support+hood_dampers Photo 2/5   |   September Tech Support

QUESTION OF THE MONTH
Q
I have a '99 Civic EX that's a great car, but needs more. More displacement, that is. I am looking at an engine swap, but I want it to fit under the hood with a turbo kit, as well as be somewhat cost effective. I am considering an H22, and I have looked into the B18C5 route, but so far I can't find one for less than $5,000.
Ed
Via the Internet

A
"There is no replacement for displacement." How many times have you seen some domestic dude wearing a t-shirt with that slogan on it? Well as weak as those guys are, they got that one right. The higher end, B-series engines are becoming rarer everyday, and more expensive, as you have found. The H22, on the other hand, is more available at the junkyard, and features an extra half-liter of displacement. It's a really strong engine that, with only rods and pistons, is ready to make enough HP to fry the tires off your Civic. It'll fit under the hood, even with a turbo, and will perform reliably for a long time. Hasport (www.hasport.com) can hook you up with everything you need to make this install go smoothly. As long as you are thinking about it, you might think about going straight to the K-swap, as this engine is still in production and guys are getting a ton of power out of them.

130_0709_06_z+dodge_neon_srt4+with_ricky_chu Photo 3/5   |   September Tech Support

Q
Hi, fellas. I just bought an '05 Dodge Neon SRT-4 that, so far, is completely stock. It's fast as hell, but I would like to get more horsepower out of it. This is the first turbo car I've ever owned, so I'm looking for some cheap and effective ways to do this. I hear that using an intake, exhaust and boost controller are the cheapest ways to go, but nobody can tell me how much power I'll be looking at or if they'll make any difference. It's my daily, so I can't shut it down for weeks at a time, either; maybe modifications that I can do over a weekend. I am pretty good with cars, but like I said, this is my first turbo car, so I like to know a little bit more about how they work.
Jake Jacob
New Orleans, LA

P.S. I've always noticed that the people who bash your awesome magazine always win the prize of the month. YOUR MAG SUCKS! Just kidding; thanks for the help!

A
Jake, it is good to see that some things are getting back to normal in your neck of the woods. For a first try, you picked a pretty good turbo car to fix up. While the SRT-4's don't get the press that more traditional imports get, they are well- supported by the aftermarket, if you know where to look. An intake and exhaust are pretty low cost parts that can be installed by a regular dude in an afternoon and are worth about 8-12 HP each. AEM and DC sports have you covered on this, as well as a plug-and-play engine management setup when things start to get serious. They also have a bunch of turbo-related gear like gauges and boost controllers that you can use. Check them out at www.aempower.com. Another great option is the Mopar catalog (http://mopar.com) where they have just what you are looking for. Their kits are factory-engineered, and have power levels that range from damn fast to downright ridiculous.

130_0709_05_z+tech_support+hks_turbo_kit Photo 4/5   |   September Tech Support

Q
I just bought an '04 350Z and wanted your opinion on what you think is better: supercharger or turbo? I've been looking at the Vortech supercharger, which seems to compete pretty well (horsepower- and torque- wise), with some of the turbo kits like Greddy and Turbonetics. Plus, I have heard that superchargers are easier to maintain. But I've also heard that they waste more gas because they're always running, unlike a turbo. And if you get a turbo, it could always be tuned at a higher psi to make more power. As you can probably tell, I don't have any experience with either. So I was just hoping to get your advice before I decide on what I'm going to do. Thanks, guys.
Brandon
Via the Internet

A
Congrats on the new ride, Brandon! The 350Z definitely makes a great platform for some serious power. And your question is a good one too, as the supercharger vs. turbo debate has been raging on since man started to draw on the walls of his cave. So far, there is no clear winner, as everything has its place in the world. It boils down to 3 basic options. First, there is the turbo. Turbos are efficient and make great horsepower, as well as feature adjustable boost with the twist of a screw or knob. The downside is that they generate a bunch of heat, can be pretty difficult to install (especially on the 350Z) and all setups will have a little lag. And while the turbos themselves are pretty reliable, it takes a really well-designed manifold to handle the stress and heat without cracking. Second is the centrifugal supercharger, which functions basically like a belt-driven turbo. They feature somewhat less lag than a turbo, do not require removal of any of the exhaust components, and make pretty darn good HP. Centrifugal superchargers do require power to work, though. Even at part-throttle motoring, boost is only adjustable by removing and replacing a pulley.

And like a turbo, they work best with a bulky and heavy intercooler. Lastly, there's the positive displacement blowers. These are the traditional type of blower that you see poking out of the hood on domestic race cars and street machines. They have pretty much instant throttle response, even at just off idle, and are usually reasonably easy to install, as well as being pretty badass-looking with the hood up. They typically do not make the top-end HP that a turbo does, use more power to run than turbos or centrifugal blowers and can sometimes be a hood clearance problem. Basically, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish, as well as what's your personal preference. Really you can't go wrong, as they all work well. Vivid Racing sells all 3 types (www.vividracing.com) and depending on your power goals and driving habits, one will get you exactly what you need.

Q
Hi, guys. I own an '02 2.4 L DOHC Dodge Stratus that I want to make into a street sleeper. My goal is to get into the 12's, but no turbo, no nitrous. Any suggestions?
Randy D.
Via the Internet

A
Randy, the only way you are going torun 12's all-motor is if you chain it to a Funnycar. You have a big, heavy car with a 4-cylinder engine that's not really up to containing a lot of power (you didn't specify, but we're guessing that you have an automatic trans, and that's also another a strike against you). You would be way better off saving your money and putting it into a better platform later, rather than sinking a fortune into trying to make this car fast but still ending up with a slow, old Dodge. If you want to get the best from this car without breaking the bank, do a few basic bolt-ons. And if you want to surprise your friends at the strip, the best way to do it is with squeeze.

130_0709_04_z+tech_support+h22_motor Photo 5/5   |   September Tech Support

Q
I just had a few of questions about my '95 Accord with an H22. My question is, I have an air fuel gauge that never, no matter how I drive it, gets out of the lean (it does'nt have a catalytic converter on it). I have 42lbs of fuel pressure, and I know it is getting fuel, but I'm wondering if not having the cat is causing this. My other question is, I was looking at getting some new cams, but after researching the H22A, my understanding is that Type-S cams are better than other aftermarket cams, or very close in duration. So would aftermarket cams with the same duration be beneficial? Thanks for the help; great magazine- I get every issue!
Jeramie-Katy Kehler
Via the Internet

A
There are a couple of problems that could be causing your AF gauge to show a lean condition. The two most common are an exhaust leak upstream or near the sensor, and damage to the sensor or the wiring. It's also possible that the gauge itself is broken, but that is less likely (the missing converter will not affect the sensor). Or it could be that you really are running lean, which would need to be taken care of right away to avoid damaging your engine. As far as the cams go, duration is not the only consideration. Lift and ramp (how fast the valve opens) can be pretty important too, and aftermarket cams have plenty of it. The stock Type-S cams are pretty aggressive and are tuned well to work with the stock engine, but if you are running a few bolt-ons, especially if you've had head work done or have increased the displacement with bigger bores ora stroker kit, then aftermarket cams can really start to make a difference.

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